United States District Court, E.D. California
ALLISON CLAIRE UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
is a state prisoner at California State Prison Sacramento
(CSP-SAC), proceeding pro se and in forma pauperis with this
civil rights action against sole remaining defendant
Correctional Officer J. McCowan. In his original complaint,
plaintiff contends that defendant McCowan's conduct on
August 10, 2012 constituted excessive force and deliberate
indifference to plaintiff's serious medical needs in
violation of the Eighth Amendment. Presently pending is
plaintiff's motion to compel discovery, ECF No. 50;
plaintiff's initial request for court intervention to
locate his legal materials, ECF No. 52; and plaintiff's
request for leave to file a motion for sanctions based on the
repeated confiscation of his property, ECF No. 58. For the
reasons that follow, the court grants in part plaintiff's
motion to compel discovery, and denies his request for leave
to file a sanctions motion. The court will reset the deadline
for plaintiff's opposition to defendant's motion for
Plaintiff's Legal Materials, February
February 15, 2017, plaintiff requested the court's
intervention in locating and returning his legal materials.
See ECF No. 52. The court requested that the Office
of the California Attorney General inquire into the location
of plaintiff's legal materials and his access to them.
See ECF No. 56. On March 29, 2017, CSP-SAC
Correctional Officer R. Kendall, the Property Officer
assigned to the Administrative Segregation Unit's A-6
Block where plaintiff was then housed, filed and served a
declaration which provides in pertinent part:
2. As a Correctional Officer in the unit, I have received
training on the proper ways to package, store, seal, and
catalog an inmate's property. An inmate's property is
solely in the custody of CDCR when an inmate is on limited
property access or temporarily away from the facility.
3. I was asked by the Office of the Attorney General to
account for inmate Baker's legal property following his
January 27 2017 assignment to Administrative Segregation.
4. On January 27 2017, I received notice to pack Baker's
cell as he was assigned to Administrative Segregation.
Inmates housed in Administrative Segregation are not
permitted to have the same amount of property as general
population inmates. I was tasked with then packing
Baker's excess property and putting it into storage to
hold for him until he was not [sic] longer housed in
Administrative Segregation. During the packing process, each
of Baker's eight boxes were labeled and sealed with tape
to protect the contents. Additionally, a CDCR Form 1083 was
generated to log any instances where the inmate or any member
of staff accessed the property.
5. On January 31, 2017, Baker returned to general population.
6. On February 22 2017, Baker signed a CDCR Form 143
acknowledging that he had received his eight boxes of
property. A true and correct copy of the CDCR Form 143 is
attached as Exhibit A.
7. On February 22 2017, Baker's eight boxes of property
were returned with their originally-taped seal in place.
Additionally, the CDCR Form 1083 did not note that anyone had
tampered with or opened Baker's property boxes. There is
no indication that anyone tampered place with Baker's
ECF No. 57 at 1-3.
of the CDCR Form 143 pertinent to plaintiff's property is
attached to and consistent with Officer Kendall's
declaration. See ECF No. 57 at 5 (Ex. A).
court is satisfied that plaintiff obtained possession of his
legal materials on February 22, 2017, shortly after he
initially requested the court's assistance.
Plaintiff's Legal Materials, March 2017
March 27, 2017, plaintiff signed and mailed a “Request
for Leave to File a Motion for Sanctions Against Defendants,
” based on the March 23, 2017 confiscation of his legal
and personal property. See ECF No. 58. Plaintiff
avers that when he was returned to “General Population
Main Line C Yard” on March 23, 2017, “Officer
Jones, Officer Moore, and Property Room Officer G.
Presel” took plaintiff's property because Sergeant
Porter directed that it be inventoried. Id. at 1.
Plaintiff states that his property “had already been
inventoried and cleared for issuance to plaintiff on
3/23/2017 by C/O R. Kendall of A Facility 6-Block EOP prior
to plaintiff's return to the GP Main Line on said
date.” Id. Plaintiff contends that
“Property Room Officer G. Presel is deliberately
withholding plaintiff's legal/personal property out of
race based retaliation against plaintiff for him filing
grievances and suits against CSP-Sacramento co-workers and
superiors.” Id. Plaintiff alleges that his
property is being withheld as leverage to get plaintiff to
sign a “1083 Property Inventory Sheet” for
whatever property may be returned to him, which “means
that plaintiff's lost, stolen, damaged property will be
taken as a sacrifice if plaintiff signs the 1083.”
Id. at 2. Plaintiff avers that he has not seen his
property since March 24, 2017, when it “was all
disarranged and mixed up and put in plastic bags.”
Id. Plaintiff requests that the court enforce or
reissue its order filed March 15, 2017, again direct an
inquiry into the location of plaintiff's property and
impose sanction on “defendants” in the amount of
correctional officers alleged to have recently confiscated
plaintiff's property are not defendants in this action.
For that reason, plaintiff cannot pursue a retaliation claim
or seek sanctions against these officers in this action.
Further, this court has no authority to intervene in the
temporary confiscation of property associated with a change
in housing. See e.g., Shaw v. Chang, 2015
WL 355497, at *6, 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 10625, at *18-9 (N.D.
Cal. 2015) and cases cited therein (due process not
implicated in the temporary loss of personal property due to
a prisoner's housing move or reclassification). Because
plaintiff indicates that his property is being withheld
because he has refused to sign a property inventory form, the
court will not involve itself further.
“Request for Leave to File a Motion for Sanctions
Against Defendants” will be denied.
Plaintiff's Motion to Compel Discovery
moves to compel further responses to Plaintiff's
Interrogatories, Set One, and Plaintiff's Request for
Production of Documents, Set One. See ECF No. 50.
Defendant has opposed the motion. See ECF No. 51.
The requests and disputed responses are addressed in
Plaintiff's Interrogatories, Set One
moves for further responses to all ten of the interrogatories
he propounded. For the reasons set forth below, defendant
will be required to serve supplemental responses to
plaintiff's Interrogatory Nos. 2, 7 and 8, as construed
Interrogatory No. 1
NO. 1: Identify any and all documents relating to use of
force and reporting the use of force policies and procedures.
TO INTERROGATORY NO. 1: Responding party states that the
following sections of Title 15 are responsive: 3268, 3268.1,
3268.2, 3268.3, and 3279. Responding party states that the
following sections of the Department Operations Manual are
responsive: 51020.1, 51020.2, 51020.3, 51020.4, 51020.5,
51020.6, 51020.7, 51020.8, 51020.9, 51020.10, 51020.11,
51020.12, 51020.12.1, 51020.12.2, 51020.12.3, 51020.12.4,
51020.12.5, 51020.12.6, 51020.17, 51020.17.1, 51020.17.2,
51020.17.3, 51020.17.4, 51020.17.5, 51020.17.6, 51020.17.7,
51020.17.8, 51020.18, 51020.18.1, 51020.18.2, 51020.19,
51020.19.1, 51020.19.2, 51020.19.3, 51020.19.4, 51020.19.5,
51020.21, 51020.22, 51030.1, 51030.2, 51030.3, 51030.4,
51030.4.1, 51030.4.2, 51030.5, 51030.5.1, 51030.5.2, and
CHALLENGE: “I specifically asked defendant to
identify not cite or quote the sections in the (DOM)
Department Operational Manual.” ECF No. 50 at
OPPOSITION: “Plaintiff provides no explanation for
how Defendant McCowan's response was deficient. (ECF No.
50 at 3.) Indeed, Plaintiff's interrogatory specifically
asks McCowan to identify all documents relating to use of
force reporting and the above-mentioned documents are
responsive to this request. Thus, McCowan should not be
compelled to further respond.” ECF No. 51 at 2.
Defendant's response to Interrogatory No. 1 is
satisfactory for the reasons stated by defendant; the court
finds plaintiff's challenge to be without merit.
Interrogatory No. 2
NO. 2: Identify any and all documents relating to prison
staff training and education as pertains to IST [In-Service
Training] Code B2670, title DOM [Department Operations
Manual], Chapter 5 Art 2 [§ 51020.1 et seq.] Use of
TO INTERROGATORY NO. 2: Responding party states that
documents from the Use of Force ...